I am really excited to tell you today that I have been featured over at House of Annie as the October Top Commenter. Nate and Annie came up with this wonderful idea of showing appreciation to their regular visitors by featuring them each month. That’s a really cool idea! You can read about the fun little “interview” they did with me here. While you are there, please check out their fantastic collection of recipes.
Nate and Annie currently reside in Kuching, Sarawak. Sabah and Sarawak makes up East Malaysia. They are situated on the island of Borneo and are separated from the Penisular by the South China Sea. Their history, geography, and makeup are quite different from that of the Peninsular. I have visited Kuching several times and have enjoyed my stay. Another person who hails from there is Mary of Keep Learning Keep Smiling. Mary shares many stories on the culture and food of Sarawak.
Two of the most renown food items of Sarawak are the Sarawak pineapple and Sarawak pepper. Pineapples are known as “nenas” in Malay and the the Sarawak pineapple is minimum in size with a pale yellow flesh. It is very sweet and delicious. The Sarawak pepper is considered by many as one of the finest white peppercorns available. The berries are large, bright, and very flavorful. My package of Sarawak pepper shown below was given to me by my brother who visits East Malaysia frequently. As you can see, my supply is running out and I will surely miss it. This pepper is ground more finely than the pepper we find here in the US. It is a precious commodity here in the Ro-Ri household and we use it mainly for clear soups and rice porridge or congee.
This is a souvenir I brought home from my first visit to Kuching, Sarawak. It is a modern reproduction of the traditional “ikat” or woven textile made by the indigenous people of Sarawak.
Rice porridge is a Chinese comfort food and can be taken any time of the day. In a rice base culture, it is often the first solid food taken by infants. As it is very easy on the tummy, porridge is also often prepared and served during convalescence from illness. Because of this some people associate it with being sick although it is a very delicious, healthy, and nutritious dish. It can be made as simple or elaborate as you like with a range of ingredients like my Minced Pork and Dried Scallop Porridge. Porridge is very easy to make and the measurements given below are just guidelines. The one below is a very basic one which I prepared for breakfast yesterday. It is best taken with Sarawak pepper.
- 2 cups (400g) rice
- 2 bone-in chicken breast, skin removed
- 10 cups (2.4 liters) water, and a little more to dilute
- 1 inch knob ginger, finely julienned
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- Sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soy sauce
In a large pot, rinse rice till water runs clear, about 3 to 4 times, drain.
Add 10 cups (2.4 liters) water to the rice and set it on the stove to boil. When water comes to boil, remove lid, add chicken breasts. As soon as water comes back to a boil, add salt and pepper and reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. If porridge gets too thick at any point, stir in ½ cup (120ml) water to dilute.
Remove chicken breasts from pot with thongs. Shred the chicken breasts and return shredded meat to the pot.
Add ginger and one to two teaspoons of sesame oil to the porridge. Turn off heat.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of green onions, pepper, and soy sauce. Add a few drops of sesame oil if desired.
This makes a really good breakfast on a cold and frosty morning.
I would also like to thank Spoon and Chopsticks for tagging me in the latest game going round the food blogs right now. I hope to get to the questions soon.
Before I go, just a reminder that Daylight Saving Time ends today. A good way to remember whether to move your clocks forward or backwards is to think of the seasons. In fall, just remember to “fall back” while in spring, think of “springing forward”.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!